Cops threatened to kill me - STAWU's Basil
MANZINI – Following the public transport workers strike yesterday, Swaziland Transport and Allied Workers Union (STAWU) Legal Advisor Basil Thwala alleges police have threatened to kill him.
Police have denied the claims, but he has opened a case against them.
STAWU had announced on Wednesday that there would be no transport in Manzini on Fridays and Mondays of every week in the build-up to an 11 days protest action.
Thwala alleged that he was threatened by police while being questioned about his involvement in yesterday’s public transport strike when he was detained at the police station.
In an interview after his release from police custody, Thwala alleged that a certain officer, told him that they (police) were given a mandate to make sure operations at the Satellite Bus Rank were not disturbed. "He told me that they were seeing me as a threat, and that I should be killed," Thwala alleged.
The legal advisor alleged that another officer tried to justify the issue of death.
Thwala said the officers explained that they were not talking about literally killing anyone, but would use legal routes to solve the impasse.
He stated that he had since filed a complaint against the police regarding the death threats.
In a separate interview, STAWU Secretary General Simanga Shongwe condemned the police for threatening his colleague. He said it was shocking that police were now threatening to execute executive members of unions.
He said this was contrary to the Commissioner of Police Isaac Magagula’s statement that they should engage in a dialogue. He wondered if the officers were defying their superiors.
Police Deputy Public Relations Officer Assistant Superintendent Stephen Dlamini confirmed that Thwala opened a case against the police. Dlamini was quick to state that they have found that there were no death threats issued against the legal advisor.
Shongwe said as per their resolution, there would be no transport on Monday.
...commuters stranded again at Satellite Rank
MANZINI – Commuters were left stranded for the better part of yesterday after operations at the Satellite Bus Rank came to a standstill.
Commuters had to find alternative transport after public transport vehicles moved out of the rank in the morning.
The Satellite Bus Rank is designated for buses and kombis that service the east-bound route. This route services areas such as Big Bend, Mananga, Luve, Moneni, Lomahasha, Mhlu-me, Lavumisa, Simunye to name a few.
As early as 8am, buses and kombis vacated the rank soon after offloading passengers. Some parked opposite the River Stone Mall while others were stationed outside the Manzini Skills Centre. Conductors then left in groups to the main bus rank, where they assembled near the entry point.
Notably, operations at the main bus rank were not interrupted, even after the arrival of the public transports workers based at the Satellite Bus Rank.
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